Coconut Macaroons

(adapted from David Leibovitz)

coconut macaroons

[Image: 43 golden-toasty coconut macaroons on a wire cooling rack on a green tablecloth.]

4 large egg whites
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
1 Tbsp honey
2 1/2 cups unsweetened finely shredded coconut
1/4 cup flour (see note)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Note:
If you’re making these for Passover, grind up matzoh in a spice/coffee grinder instead.

Mix all ingredients except vanilla in a large nonstick skillet over low to medium heat. Stir, and do not stop stirring. Things will look a little dire at first, but they’ll coalesce soon enough. Keep stirring.

When the mixture starts to scorch (I take this to mean darken a bit in color and make schlorpy noises when you move it around the pan), remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Transfer to a bowl and let cool to room temperature. I recommend a narrow container with as little exposed surface area as possible. Press some plastic wrap down on it to minimize air contact. (At this point, the mixture can be refrigerated for up to one week, or frozen for up to two months. Bring it back to room temperature before baking if you do this.)

Heat oven to 350 and line baking sheet with parchment paper. Form dough into 1-inch mounds with your hands and space evenly on the baking sheet. Bake for 18-20 minutes, rotating halfway through. Do not be tempted to pull them early, the darker they get, the better they taste! I sometimes use the convection setting for the second half of baking in order to get the edges dark and crispy. Cool completely before serving.

(These get better in the days following baking, so if you have the time, make them early. I store them in an unsealed zip-top bag in order to preserve their texture. Sealing it will soften them.)

Lupicia Golden Honey Dew Rooibos Tea

Lupicia Golden Honey Dew Rooibos Tea tin

[Image: a round metal tin of Lupicia’s Golden Honey Dew Rooibos Tea. Image from Steepster.com]

I visited Lupicia’s San Francisco store last weekend with my friend TeapotGirl, and it never fails that I pick up something new. However, if a new tea comes in, another must leave. And so it is with sadness that I bid farewell to Lupicia’s Golden Honey Dew Rooibos Tea, which is one of the most delicious iced teas I’ve ever tasted. I don’t even like honeydew melons, but this is so good.

A steeping note, if you ever find yourself in possession of this beauty. Since it’s only available in leaf form, I don’t recommend pouring the water over whatever your steeping mode of choice is. The leaves/twiggy components in the tea are very small and easily jostled out of a bag (I get my bags in giant packs at Daiso). Pour the water first, then gently place the bag into it.

Lupicia’s Golden Honey Dew Rooibos Tea can be ordered here.

Happy Eleventh Birthday!

I mean, technically. This blog was started March 22, 2004. Here was my first post and first recipe. We’ve since nuked the original site design, but look! Cute! That top image was from an apron my sister-in-law embroidered for me.

I will not lie that I’ve neglected this place for a long, long time. My last post on Braisin’ Hussy 1.0 was in 2010. And then I made a comment on that post directing people to Braisin’ Hussy… let’s call it 1.5, which was hosted here on WordPress. It’s still there, as a monument to my quite pathetic attempt to start blogging again, which lasted all of 24 posts.

But this time will be different! Probably! Braisin’ Hussy 2.0! Woo! Let’s go!

(I’ll do my best.)

Plum Cake

(adapted/simplified from the smitten kitchen, which was adapted from Baking: From My Home to Yours)

1.5 cups AP flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp table salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
5 Tbsp butter
3/4 cup (packed) brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/3 cup canola oil
Grated zest of 1 lemon
1.5 tsp vanilla extract
8 small plums, halved and pitted

Heat oven to 350. Butter and flour an 8×8 baking dish. In a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until homogenized, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time. Continue beating, adding the oil, zest, and vanilla. Reduce mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface. Arrange the plum halves cut side up on top of the batter in a 4×4 grid. Press the plums into the batter.

Bake, and start checking for doneness at the 30 minute mark. Cake is done when the top has browned and puffed up around the plums, and when a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Cool on rack for 15 minutes, then de-pan. Cake may be stored for up to 2 days at room temperature.

Tea Time!

I had my friend Joa over for tea today. Joa used to work with me, but she left to go have an adorable baby. Luna is so cute. She’s 7 months old, crawling all around, pulling herself up (and falling right back down again). We had a delightful time.

I made banana bread and some tea sandwiches. The plums on the outside tree are about a week away from full ripeness. I made a sandwich with some cream cheese and the closest to ripeness plum I could find, sliced thin and sprinkled with sugar. For a more savory sandwich, I buttered some bread and put slices of cheddar cheese with some Branston Pickle.

Look at this hella fancy spread.

Salt: Critical Mass

I think I’ve finally hit the edge of what is too much salt in my snickerdoodles. I made a batch on Saturday. I doubled the salt (1 teaspoon table salt), added a dash of kosher salt to the cinnamon-sugar mix, sprinkled the baking sheet with kosher salt, and finally put a few crystals on top of each sphere. I’m not even sure these are cookies anymore. They’re totally my division when it comes to sweets, but I think they won’t be finding many champions in the general populace. I’ve also added an additional step to my baking of them. When rotating the baking sheets, make sure to whack the bottom of the sheet on the open oven door. This makes them collapse more quickly. Salty and crispy. I like to call them “cookie chips” in the same tone that the ad announcer says “coooooooooookie crisp.”

In other news, man is it a pain to remove infinite scrolling from one’s blog. =/

Bavarian Pretzel Rolls

1 Tbsp active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water
2 tsp honey
4 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp table salt
4 Tbsp butter, melted
2 quarts water
1/2 cup baking soda
salt (Pretzel or Kosher salt for sprinkling)

In a mixer bowl, add yeast and 1 1/2 cups warm water and let stand for about 5 minutes until it foams and smells yeasty.

Add honey, flour, salt, and melted butter. Mix with the dough hook until it forms a dough ball, about a couple minutes.

Cover and let rise about 1 hour. Punch down and turn ball out onto a lightly floured counter.

Roll dough into a “rope” and cut into the approximate sizes you want your rolls—about 12-16 rolls. Shape into rolls.

Put the rolls on 2 parchment lined cookie sheet or two. Cover and let rise another 30 minutes.

Heat oven to 425 (use the convection setting if you’ve got it) and set 2 quarts of water to boiling.

When water is boiling, slowly (carefully!) pour baking soda into the water.

2 or 3 at a time (don’t crowd the pot), poach the rolls in the baking soda bath. About 30 seconds in the water, then remove with a slotted spoon or spider. Place back on cookie sheets.

Sprinkle with pretzel or kosher salt while still damp. Score tops with an X. (As you’ll see below, this really only attempts to persuade the pretzels—they basically expand whichever way they want to.)

Bake at 425 for 15-20 minutes. Rotate cookie sheets top to bottom and back to front halfway through baking.

Kimchi Hot Dogs

I went to a housewarming party this weekend held by my friends Sylvie and Chris. They made a lot of great food—cheesesteaks, short rib sliders, Brussels sprouts—but the absolute best thing I ate was kimchi hot dogs. There’s not really a strict recipe for this, but it’s along the lines of:

soft hot dog rolls
hot dogs (preferably Nathan’s)
kimchi, chopped
green onions, chopped
bacon, chopped and cooked
mayonnaise (Kewpie)
sriracha

Mix the mayo and sriracha together. I don’t have proportions, just taste as you go until you have something spicy and smooth and delicious. Grill the hot dogs, do not toast the rolls. Top the dogs with everything and cram it in your mouth.

Chickpea Stew

(adapted from Bon Appetit)

2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1.5 cups shredded poultry (BA sears + poaches + shreds 2 skinless, boneless chicken thighs)
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1/4 to 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 bay leaves
1 15 oz. can chickpeas, rinsed, drained
1/4 cup chopped drained roasted red peppers from a jar
2 tablespoons (or more) fresh lemon juice
Pinch paprika
Pinch ground chipotle pepper
Salt and pepper, to taste
(BA serves over bread cubes [1/2 c per bowl] and with chopped parsley)

Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a 2 or 3-qt. pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until soft. Turn heat down to low and add the garlic, stirring for 30-60 seconds or until fragrant. Add the cumin, red pepper flakes, and tomato paste; stir until a smooth paste forms, about 1 minute. Add 2 cups water, a bay leaf, and the shredded poultry to the pot. Raise the heat to high and bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer for 20 minutes.

Add chickpeas to pot; bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Shred chicken; add to stew. Add red peppers. Stir in remaining tablespoon of oil and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Add salt and pepper to taste, as well as a pinch of paprika and chipotle pepper. Simmer until stew is the thickness you want. (BA says 1 minute, but I simmered it for like 20 minutes. Then again, they suggest serving it over cubes of bread, which would soak up a lot of the extra liquid.) Taste again before serving, add more salt or lemon juice if needed.

(I used shredded turkey, in case you were curious.)